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Recap: MNUFC doomed by two first half Houston goals

Minnesota United’s lack of urgency or well anything we’re enough for Houston to capitalize on and get their first victory in nearly two months.

Abu Danladi tries to get to the ball during Minnesota United’s 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo
Tim C McLaughlin

They say a series sweep and beating an opponent 3 times in a season are hard things to do. Well Minnesota learned that tonight in Houston falling 2-0 to Dynamo in the clubs final meeting in 2019.

After Minnesota United started the match against LAFC in a 3-5-2 before moving to a 5-4-1 setup the Loons returned to a traditional 4-3-3 format against Houston Dynamo. Quintero, Olum, Moimbé-Tahrat, Kallman we’re all changed off the starting XI for Houston with Quintero also being out for the match. Thomás Chacón would make his first MLS start for Minnesota United.

Most of the first half was fairly mundane and frankly boring to watch but Houston reminded everyone of the US Open Cup match back in June by striking first, late in the first half. A long cross was picked up by Houston’s #7 DaMarcus Beasley who passed it to Mauro Manotas. Manotas immediately put the ball in from the top of the 6’ to give Houston the lead.

It didn’t stay 1-0 for long as Houston struck again, this time with Christian Ramirez scoring against his former team. Ramirez cut between Ike Opara and Romain Métanire and took a pass from Mauro Manotas. He then dribbled up inside the 18’ and fired a shot from just outside the 6’ that beat Mannone high on the far side to bring it up to 2-0.

After a lackluster first half of play Adrian Heat switched up from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 and subbed Robin Lod in for Hassani Dotson and Abu Danladi in for Mason Toye. The early subs didn’t seem to make an immediate impact as MNUFC still seemed to be playing near the same slow, nearly nonexistent pace they played in the first half.

The Loons would use their third and final substitution in the 61’ minute bringing Angelo Rodriguez for Thomás Chacón. At the same time former Loon Christian Ramirez was subbed off in favor of Memo Rodríguez. Minnesota was unable to use the final 30 minutes and a formation change to be able to score but did nearly get two goals off of Ethan Finlay. The first had a miraclous save by Alejandro Fuenmayor and the second, which did go in, had Angelo Rodriguez called offside on a VAR review.